Document Center Inc. UPDATE Vol. 1 No. 2, November 1995
Thank you for the many complements on the first issue of our newsletter. We're glad to be discussing topics of interest to you.
In this issue we will be focusing on how Document Center Inc. can help you stay on top of all the changes that are occurring right now in standards documents.
ISO 9000 compliance is creating an awareness of the critical issue of validity of documentation collections. Document Center is able to provide you with an outsourced solution at a low cost. By handing us the management of your critical core of information, you get the use of an extraordinary resource - our collection, our staff, and our expertise.
We are proud of our 10 plus years as a standards distributor. However, in this changing world, we recognize that business as usual just isn't good enough any more. As the next progresses, I know you will be pleased with the many changes you'll see happening at Document Center. The fast pace of change is creating a challenge for us all.
Our staff is available to you to answer any additional questions that you might have. Contact us at +650-591-7600, fax: +650 591-7617, or via email at email@example.com.
Claudia Bach, President
ANSI and Document Center Ink Distribution Contract: A new agreement with the Air Transport Association is also reached
Document Center Inc. is pleased to announce that an agreement with the American National Standards Institute has been signed. This agreement allows Document Center to redistribute the approximately 1,500 standards whose copyright is owned by ANSI or by ATIS (the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions - the T1 committee).
This agreement is for the distribution of standards on paper medium only (hard copies). Update service will be available on these documents as well, since all new or revised standards will be forwarded to Document Center Inc. by ANSI.
We are very excited about the positive impact to our services that will occur with the implementation of this agreement. By having the complete collection on site, we can provide our usual fast service on all ANSI-copyrighted standards. The contract also rounds out our current lineup of agreements, which include the ISO (International Organization for Standardization) and the IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission).
We are also pleased to announce that Document Center will now have all ATA (Air Transport Association) documents available with a two day turnaround. This improved service complements our already large holdings of aviation- and space-related standards, including all NAS drawings.
Please contact our sales staff if you have any further questions about these new additions to our collection.
Document Center's Update Service Key Feature for Customers: Automatic Updating Provides Document Purchasers with Timely Notification of Changes
Standards have traditionally been the end of the technical evolution of a product, material, or technique. They are used to represent the final stability of changes in the marketplace.
However, with the rapid lifecycle times and the need for consensus prior to the release of new technologies, the standards process is moving forward in our manufacturing timeline. Further, rapid technological change if driving faster standards development and revision cycles. And the global harmonization of trade and trade practices has a profound impact on standards usage.
Businesses are acutely aware that using the correct standard, at the current revision level, is essential to meeting the quality demands of customers. At the same time, the ability to manage one's standards collection is becoming increasingly difficult, if not downright impossible.
Document Center Inc. has been providing customers with automatic update service since 1985. The service has been predominately associated with documents our customers have purchased. But the requirements of ISO-9000 certification and other quality considerations have caused our customers to rely on this service as a form of outsourced information management.
The service is a simple concept. When a customer purchases a document from Document Center, the record of that sale is permanently kept on our computer system. When Document Center receives a revision, or other notification of activity on the document, a yellow update postcard is generated by the computer and mailed to the customer.
Information on the postcard includes the date and purchase order number used for the original purchase, the item received and the cost from Document Center, and the name of the person who originally asked to be notified of changes.
Customers can choose to purchase the new item, and can phone, fax, or email in their order. Or they can retain the postcard (we suggest stapling the postcard to the front of the outdated or incomplete standard) to use for ordering the next time the information is required.
In managing entire standards collections, there are two new requirements - the audit of the collection itself to confirm the status of the documents on the shelf and update service for the entire collection once it has been brought up-to-date. We use current services to address both of these issues.
First, our sales personnel do audits of collections on a regular basis. In order to provide you with a quote that can correctly price only those items you need in order to bring your collection to current status, you should mail or fax us a list of the collection itself. This listing should carefully specify your current documentation, including revision levels, all amendments, notices, and supplements you might have, and any other identifying information (i.e., date).
When you send us the list of what you have, please also provide us with a contact name and phone number, as well as a due date for the return of the quote, and the request for an audit to be performed.
The sales staff will carefully provide you with a listing of items necessary to bring your documentation back to current status. They will also suggest automatic update service only for any item which you have in your collection which are already current, but which may not have been purchased at Document Center Inc. The change for the update service only is $2.50 per line item.
If you are unsure if you are currently receiving our update service for a document, look on the cover of the standard. If you see our Document Center sticker, the update service is already in effect.
Of course, for any item in your possession, a quick call to Document Center can allow you to check our database to see if we have any later revision or notification on that item. Or you can access our Internet server and look directly at our database yourself (www.doccenter.com). The information in the server is updated once a month.
A frequent question about the service is "How do you know what documents are current?" This is an excellent question because this is precisely the most difficult aspect of managing this type of collection.
In the United States, standards are usually written by committees. These committees are usually overseen by SDO's, Standards Developing Organizations, like ASTM, for example. A committee will agree to a new revision, will date the correct text, and then forward the information to the SDO.
The SDO will have editorial staff review the standard for format, and other publishing concerns. Then the edited edition will be forwarded to the printer for publication. Finally, the printed copies will be available for public distribution.
This process, from the date the committee gives approval to the document to the date when the document becomes publicly available may take from three to six months, or even longer. Notification may be made by flyer, but normally catalogs (issued usually on an annual basis) are used.
Document Center Inc. provides notification primarily based not on catalog notification, but on receipt of the actual document itself. For the bulk of the items we sell, we have purchased, or receive as part of our distribution agreements, subscription services that provide us with each new document as soon as the item is released from the printer. The vast majority of our information about standards comes directly from the physical copy of each incoming new document.
This enables us to notify our customers of changes in the status of the standard they use faster and more economically than if they attempted to do it themselves. Further, Document Center Inc. verifies our constant incoming supply of documents by double checking our shipments with other lists and catalogs available to us.
There are some documents which we do not warehouse and which are not frequently ordered. We use catalogs to verify our database on an annual basis as another means of updating and double checking our own records.
Our experience is that companies are using standards from more diverse locations. This decentralized model will make it more difficult to have reliable information about the standard you use. Document Center can manage the complexity for you, offering you a valuable service at a price you can afford. The confidence you will have in your information will be backed by one of the most extensive collections in the world, and by one of the few professional organizations focused entirely on the distribution of standards to the business community.
Big Changes for DOD Standards: Dr. Perry's Plan Takes Shape
Faced with shrinking budgets and the end of the Cold War, the U.S. Department of Defense has been re-engineering the procurement process. Dr. Perry, Secretary of the DOD is determined to purchase as much as possible from commercial sources, rather than from the "military-industrial complex." And this acquisition reform means military standards reform.
To support the shift to commercial sources, the DOD specifications program reforms center on the institution of a performance based solicitation process, implementation of standardization document improvements, and the creation of irreversible cultural change. And to pack power the punch, a Perry memo requiring a waiver for theinclusion of military specifications in DOD contracts was released a year ago June.
Since that time, funding has been allotted for a review of the dod documentation. A SWAT team was created and has specified action on over 100 standards identified as the most expensive to implement. If you have not been aware, some of the most frequently called-out documents have been canceled, some in favor of U.S. industry standards or International standards. This list includes such "all time favorites" as the MIL-STD-45662 on calibration and the MIL-STD-105 on sampling procedures.
The military is also creating new document types to support the need for performance based procurement. You can expect to see these new documents types called out soon: MIL-PRF-00000, or performance based specifications, and MIL-DTL-00000, detail specifications.
Performance specifications will state requirements for a product in terms of form, fit, function and interface. The detail specification on the other hand will give specific design details, which will be appropriate for badges, uniforms, and other items that need to be specifically delineated. Both these new document types will be exempt from the waiver requirement for military contracts.
You should be expecting a lot of activity for military specifications and standards in the upcoming months. Training sessions are taking place to help dod personnel learn about performance based procurement and specification writing. These courses are being updated on a monthly basis, change is occurring so rapidly within the military.
A list of the items which are on the SWAT team's list is available, as well as articles by Document Center President Bach and others. So if you would like more information on this major change, please contact Claudia Bach at 650-591-7600 or firstname.lastname@example.org. There is also a dod webserver which has been set up a www.acq.osd.mil/es/std/stdhome.html.
Our Internet Server Has a New Look! Upgrade features new services as well.
Check us out at www.document-center.com (Note: there is no charge to access the Document Center Server, available 24 hours a day worldwide)
Document Center Inc.:The Silicon Valley specifications and standards service
Document Center is a hard copy document delivery service based in Silicon Valley. There are over 500,000 documents warehoused at our headquarters location. We service customers located worldwide, with ordering available using phone, fax and email.
Document Center Inc. sells government and industry specifications, both U.S. and non-U.S. The government documents range from U.S. Federal regulations to EC Directives. Industry documentation covers the available spectrum, from ANSI, IEEE, ASTM, and other U.S. organizations to ISO, IEC, EU, BSI, and other national, regional and international standard writing bodies.
Document Center's in-house collection includes a complete set of current military specifications and standards, as well as an extensive collection of obsolete mil-specs and standards. The government collections also include all federal specifications and standard, DESC drawings, dod Standards, manuals, instructions and directives, various documents from the services and from the federal agencies. Document Center also provides GPO and NTIS documents.
Document Center Inc. has royalty agreements with the following organization: ANSI, ASTM, SAE, EIA, AIIM, API, the European Union, ISO, and IEC. This means that Document Center has complete collections of standards from these organizations available for immediate shipment.
Additionally, Document Center Inc. has distribution agreements with IPC and with ATA.
Document Center Inc. also stocks a wide variety of other standards and technical material. Price and availability are available upon demand, either from our staff or from our Internet server.
Document Center's strengths are low prices, personal service, same day shipment, attention to detail, and knowledgeable sales staff. We offer an automatic updating service. Orders can be placed using the phone, fax or email. Call for more information at +650-591-7600.